In his debut autobiography, Hachtel, a West Texas survivor of the Permian Basin oil bust, relates his encounter with a feminine God.
During the 1980s and ’90s, Hachtel saw his community disintegrate when the West Texas economy went under after the oil business collapsed. Driven to despair and possessed by anger, Hachtel demanded that God show the author his full divine power. Hachtel writes that his arms involuntarily stretched out and something miraculous occurred: “An energy surged through my body, a remarkable energy never felt before.” God rewired Hatchel’s brain, he says. This idiosyncratic journey explores the author’s subsequent encounters with the feminine aspect of the deity, which Hatchel, as humble scribe, faithfully recorded in this book. This spiritual autobiography creates a dream world where the author has a chance to gab with God. “ ‘Nice art, isn’t it?’ God says about the works by Picasso, O’Keefe, and…Jerry Garcia that adorn her [God’s] walls.” Led by a telepathic spirit guide sent to him by God, the intrepid author visits a realm beneath the present-day Black Sea, a Utopia whose inhabitants are hundreds of years old, an ideal society run entirely by women. Ultimately, the book becomes a platform for the author’s ongoing Q&A with the comely God, who sometimes gets impatient because she thinks Hachtel is none too smart. The dialogue between divinity and author mostly centers on Christianity, which the book attempts to reinterpret through a detailed history of the early to medieval Christian church. God discusses this chronology through her own peculiar interpretive lens. Hachtel also cites Sikh, Hindu, Taoist and Jewish sources in support of his syncretistic spiritual views. Told in a rambling, homespun style with occasional word-use errors and a few dangling modifiers, the book nonetheless takes some interesting, unexpected paths to reveal unique spiritual views handed down through the messenger/author.
A compelling autobiographical ramble featuring a unique spiritual vision.